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Clade Song 7 left sidebar seal crane/piper llama

Clade Song 7

read by Akim Golubev


Если убитому леопарду не опа-
Лить немедленно усов, дух его
будетпреследовать охотника.
Абиссинское поверье.

Колдовством и ворожбою
В тишине глухих ночей
Леопард, убитый мною,
Занят в комнате моей.

Люди входят и уходят,
Позже всех уходит та,
Для которой в жилах бродит
Золотая темнота.

Поздно. Мыши засвистели,
Глухо крякнул домовой,
И мурлычет у постели
Леопард, убитый мной.

— По ущельям Добробрана
Сизый плавает туман,
Солнце, красное, как рана,
Озарило Добробран.

— Запах меда и вервены
Ветер гонит на восток,
И ревут, ревут гиены,
Зарывая нос в песок.

— Брат мой, брат мой, ревы слышишь,
Запах чуешь, видишь дым?
Для чего ж тогда ты дышишь
Этим воздухом сырым?

— Нет, ты должен, мой убийца,
Умереть в стране моей,
Чтоб я снова мог родиться
В леопардовой семье. —

Неужели до рассвета
Мне ловить лукавый зов?
Ах, не слушал я совета,
Не спалил ему усов!

read by Akim Golubev

If you do not immediately singe
the whiskers of a slain leopard,
its spirit will pursue the hunter.
A popular Abyssinian belief

The leopard I slew is doing
Sorcery and telling fortunes
In the lonely silent night
Of my rented room.

People come in and go out,
The last to leave is she
For whom the golden darkness
Wanders in my veins.

It’s late. The mice have squeaked,
The lonely house has groaned,
And purring on the bed
Is the leopard that I slew.

— A gray fog floats over
The Dobrobran gorge,
The sun, red like a wound,
Strikes the Dobrobran with light.

— The wind drives the aromas
Of honey and verbena east
While the hyenas howl and howl
Burying their noses in sand.

— My brother, my brother, can you
Hear the howl, sense the smell,
See the fog? Why do you still
Breathe the humid air?

— No my murderer,
You must not die in my land
So I can be born again
Into the family of leopards. —

Really now, till dawn comes
Must I hear his sly summons?
Ah, I did not heed the advice,
I did not singe his whiskers.

Clade Song 7 right sidebar hawk frog dog

Nikolai Stepanovich Gumilev (1886-1921) was an adventurer and poet, and became Akhmatova’s first husband.  They were married in 25 August 1910, separated in 1913 and finally divorced in 1918. They had one con, Lev. While married both engaged in other relationships, but their commitment to each other as writers never flagged, and when the Bolsheviks arrested him on 3 August 1921 executed him one 25 (?) August as a monarchist, she grieved deeply.  He was one of the founders of the Poet’s Guild, which enunciated the principles of the Acmeist movement, and along with Mikhael Kuzmin wrote important essays and reviews that argued the Acmeist aesthetic particularly in opposition to Russian symbolism.  His poems are of interest and have been republished in Russia and translated into English.  Sponsored by the Imperial Russian Geographic Society, he went to Africa several times visiting Egypt, east and central regions.  He brought back artifacts housed in several Russian museums. African subjects are featured in many of his poems—the first Russian poems to feature such themes. After his early volumes in the Acmeist mode he later returned to a style closer to symbolism. In his last unpublished poems, he developed new style akin to later surrealists.  The late poems are much admired by Russian critics.

Don Mager’s chapbooks and volumes of poetry are: To Track the Wounded One, Glosses, That Which is Owed to Death, Borderings, Good Turns and The Elegance of the Ungraspable, Birth Daybook Drive Time and Russian Riffs. He is retired with degrees from Drake University (BA), Syracuse University (MA) and Wayne State University (PhD). He was the Mott University Professor of English at Johnson C. Smith University from 1998-2004 where he served as Dean of the College of Arts and Letters (2005-2011). As well as a number of scholarly articles, he has published over 200 poems and translations from German, Czech and Russian. He lives in Charlotte, NC.